Call us 1-800-670-0715

Healthy Cells vs. Cancer Cells

Healthy cells have a structure determined by their DNA. They need energy to exist and thrive, which they derive from chemicals in the food you consume. Cells need a system to deliver nutrients such as amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals to them. This system is the body's network of blood vessels. Growth factors take a cell from birth (mitosis and meiosis) to death (apoptosis), all the while helping it to function normally.

The body and its cells are mostly made up of protein. The building blocks of proteins are substances called amino acids that, in the form of enzymes and hormones, literally control every chemical reaction within the cells. When these are modified, different messages are sent to a complex control system that can alter their function. Twenty amino acids are necessary to sustain human life:

  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Tyrosine
  • Valine

The ten amino acids appearing in bold face above are called essential amino acids because the body does not synthesize them and thus they must be supplied by the daily diet; the remaining ones are called nonessential amino acids because they are synthesized in the body.


Normal CellsCancer Cells

Have DNA in their genes and chromosomes that functions normally.

Develop an aberrant DNA or gene structure or acquire abnormal numbers of chromosomes.

Divide in an orderly way to produce more cells only when the body needs them.

Continue to be created without control or order. Excess cells form a mass of tissue called a tumor.

Normal Cells Cancer Cells

Derive 70% of their energy from a process called the Krebs cycle.

Exhibit a defective Krebs cycle and derive little or no energy from it.

Derive only 20% of their energy from a process called glycolysis.

Derive almost all their energy from glycolysis.

Derive most of their energy using oxygen.

Derive most of their energy in the absence of oxygen.

Blood Vessels
Normal Cells Cancer Cells

Have a built-in blood vessel system.

Lack a built-in blood vessel system. They require more of certain amino acids to grow.

Growth Factors
Normal Cells Cancer Cells

Operate at a normal metabolic level and reproduce themselves at a regulated pace.

Are overactive and overproduce themselves, thus requiring more nutrients.

Normal Cells Cancer Cells

Have enzymes and hormones that behave in a balanced manner.

Have either overactive or underactive enzymes and hormones.

Differences between Tumor Types

Are not cancerous. Do not invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body. Can be removed and are not a threat to life.

Are cancerous. Can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs and can break away and enter the bloodstream to form new tumors in other parts of the body, a process called metastasis.

Have a question?

Can't find what you're looking for? Get in touch.


I am diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and start CAAT and femara 2 months ago. My CA 27-29 dropped 57 points. I look forward to my clear diagnosis....

- Katreese

Read More »